Monday, February 27, 2006

Vista 6-pack

Microsoft plans to release Vista in six editions, including versions for business, home, a low-priced version for India and other emerging countries, and a version for sale in Europe that does not include the media player, in compliance with European anti-trust rulings according to an announcement on Microsoft's website.

Here's how the Vista packages stack up:

- Windows Vista Business includes similar features to today's Windows XP Professional edition, including backup, networking, and group policy support. It includes Microsoft's new Aero user interface, a new search engine, and small-business features such as fax and scanning software and easier-to-understand help menus.

- Windows Vista Enterprise, available to Microsoft's largest corporate customers, adds new BitLocker hard-drive encryption, a virtual PC program for running software written for other platforms, and a new subsystem for running Unix apps.

- Windows Vista Home Premium is designed for the majority of home PC users and includes the ability to show photos on a large-screen TV, play music on a home stereo, write and copy DVDs, and edit high-definition video. It also includes the ability to sync files between two computers.

- Windows Vista Ultimate combines all the features of the Vista Business and Home Premium editions -- it's designed for corporate employees who often work on company projects from home.

- Windows Vista Home Basic is aimed at users who mainly read and send E-mail and surf the Web. It doesn't include the Tablet PC, Media Center, photography and music software in Vista Home Premium.

- Windows Vista Starter will retail only in emerging markets such as India, Russia, Mexico, Brazil, Thailand, and Indonesia. It won't be available in the United States or Europe, and runs only in 32-bit mode.

More about Windows Vista:

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Google Page Creator (Beta...)

Google Page Creator is a free online tool that makes it easy for anyone to create and publish useful, attractive web pages in just minutes.

• No technical knowledge required.
Build high-quality web pages without having to learn HTML or use complex software.

• wysiwyg (What You See Is What You Get)
Edit your pages right in your browser, seeing exactly how your finished product will look every step along the way.

• Don't worry about hosting.
Your web pages will live on your own site at

It gives you 100MB of storage and it does not have ads on it yet (!). It won't let you put anything but simple html on it. No java script or flash.

Google claims that your pages will be indexed into Google very fast - but you will not get a position advantage in the search results.

Before shifting to Google Pages you should keep this part of their disclaimer in mind:

"You acknowledge that Google has set no fixed upper limit on the number of transmissions you may send or receive through Google services or the amount of storage space used; however, we retain the right, at our sole discretion, to create limits at any time with or without notice. "

Try it out on:
(it was temporarily closed for new users when I tried it)

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Jiggy widescreen display using IE

It has come to our attention that the default settings on some new Laptops (ex. Dell Latitude D810) causes display problems when browsing numerous web sites using the Internet Explorer 6. For AME Info specifically it means the right-hand navigation moves below the page as the text becomes too wide and most graphics looks jiggy - even on

Dell has been delivering the high resolution (WSXGA+ or WUXGA, at least) with the "DPI" bumped up to 120 (from a normal 96dpi) to try and make 'fine print' larger.

Internet Explorer 6 and later automatically adjusts the scale on higher resolution systems when the dpi setting is higher than 96 dpi and the "UseHR" registry value is added to the registry.

These are usually done by the manufacturers of higher resolution systems.

Firefox does a much better job of 'font scaling' than IE6.

These are the steps for changing the dpi setting on your system:
1. Right-click the Windows desktop to display the context menu.

2. Click Properties on the context menu to display the Display Properties dialog.

3. Click the Settings tab on the Display Properties dialog to display the Settings tab.

4. Click the Advanced button on the Settings tab to display the monitor properties dialog.

5. Select a dpi setting in the Display frame of the monitor properties dialog to change the dpi setting.

6. Restart your system to allow the changes to take effect. ..."

The problem appears to be resolved in the upcoming IE7 - which is currently available as beta2 or you can download Firefox

Thursday, February 02, 2006

New Beta software

IE7 Beta2
Microsoft has released its beta+2+preview all in one offering. The interface looks slick but tabbed browsing in IE needs a bit of getting used to. It crashed for me within 30 minutes of use (not abuse - just browsing) - but has worked quite well since (used it for a ~ a day).
There are a number of new features that hopefully will make browsing more secure and pleasant.

At first glance it appears to have the same CSS rendering engine (hence problems) as the previous version - but I expect that to be sorted in the final version.

IE blog:

Google Toolbar 4 (for IE) Beta
Matt Cutts goes into detail how one can create a button to select a url and run a whois query on it, all without heavy coding. There's an autotype function that might bug people, and a bookmarking function that some people may not feel comfortable with, but probably others may find pretty helpful.

Probably the most important aspect of this toolbar is that it reinforces user stickiness by encouraging users to sign in with Google in order to access functions such as gmail or bookmarks. Keeping people on Google has always been an issue, as mindshare has imo been the traditional source of visitors. This toolbar appears to me as a kind of mortar to help keep the pieces together, like a software as service application or a virtual desktop- or at least that's the direction it seems to be taking.

You can try it out from: